**Originally posted on Nightingale’s Gaming Haven**

When people feel down and depressed, there are many things they flock to to make themselves feel better. And most of us gamers, well, we go to what we love: Video games. And with the holidays upon us, many of us find ourselves feeling down in the dumps instead of happy and joyous. So this time of year seems like the perfect time to talk about what games one could play to uplift their spirits a bit.

Now everyone is different and everyone copes with depression differently than others, and that also rings true for gamers. Some of us play a game that we know through and through as that calms us, others prefer to take the violent route with hack n’ slash types and fighting types, while there are also those of us who go to our sandbox-type of games, such as Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and The Sims. So with this knowledge, we have compiled a nice little list of possible games to play when you may be feeling down, that includes a little bit of everything for everyone.

First up let’s take the violent-game route! Violent games help some release their frustrations, being able to unleash chaos in a game that, well, would just be illegal to do in the real world. Games that some may want to play when taking this route could be titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row, or hack n’ slash titles such as Devil May Cry and God of War, or fighters like Mortal Kombat and Tekken. Playing games like this immerse you in a world where you can do as you want, and take out your frustrations on who (or what) ever you want. Recent games that you may want to use for this route includes Bloodborne and Mortal Kombat X.

The next type of gaming that one could use to help give them that boost from depression would be sandbox-type games. In these types of games, we literally control pretty much everything around us, which gives us a sense of control in our very hectic lives where we have control over very little. Games in this genre could include Minecraft (Creative Mode), Animal Crossing, The Sims, and technically even Disney Infinity. Being in control and playing a god-like role in the game, uplifts us, making us feel like we’re doing something rather constructive in some way, all while having [almost] absolute control on this little world you’ve created. Some games to play when going this route would be Animal Crossing: New Leaf, The Sims 3 or 4, and of course, Minecraft.

A couple of other ways to cope with feeling down and being depressed are to play games you are familiar with, and games with vast worlds that you can just lose yourself in. Playing a game that you have perhaps beaten countless amounts of times or a game you held dear as a child can make you feel at ease. Since you know the game like the back of your hand, there is zero guess-work involved, and little to know thinking. It’s also a nice way to relax when being stressed out. And with titles we cherished as a child, it reminds us of the simpler times in our lives, and that in itself can bring one comfort.

Another way is by playing open-world games with tons of terrain to wander through all while taking on side-quests or main missions, it’s really up to you! Games that come to mind for this one would be games such as The Witcher III, Skyrim, The Reckoning: Kingdoms of Amalur, and even RPGs such as the Final Fantasy and Tales of franchises. Not only is it a whole new world for you to explore, but you also get to experience a great story along the way (that is until you get side-tracked by multiple side-quests…). I can’t tell you how many times just wandering through the land of Skyrim helped improve my mood.

Just know that if you are feeling down, and are dealing with depression, you’re not alone, especially during this holiday season. So if you’re a gamer, grab a controller, pop in your favorite game, and relax. It’ll get better. So what are some games that you use to help you when you’re feeling down? Sound off in the comments below.